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LR Charter School Pulls Creationism Curriculum

A public charter school organization with a campus in Little Rock says it has pulled science workbooks amid allegations it promotes creationism over evolution.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A public charter school organization with a campus in Little Rock says it has pulled science workbooks amid allegations it promotes creationism over evolution.

Responsive Education Solutions, based in Lewisville, TX, says it received a complaint about content in biology workbooks.

Responsive Ed operates Premier High School in Little Rock. The charter operator recently received state approval to open a middle school in west Little Rock.

Chuck Cook, CEO of Responsive Education, addressed the allegations in a letter to the Arkansas Department of Education and obtained by KARK.

"Because of the seriousness of the allegations, we removed the Biology workbook in question from our inventory and conducted an immediate and thorough review of the legal concerns expressed in the Slate article," Cook says.

The allegations stem from a Slate.com article published in January that states Responsive Ed's biology course unconstitutionally teaches creationism and that the curriculum undermines evolution.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State sent a letter to ADE on Monday asking the state to take action, either by ordering Responsive Ed to remove the questionable material or the state revoke its charter.

Kimberly Friedman, spokesperson for ADE, says the department just received both letters and are reviewing them, but is not in a position to comment yet.

The American United letter states the Responsive Ed biology workbook undermines evolution as "an unproved theory which has reached the level of dogma."

Ian Smith, a staff attorney for American United, says Responsive Ed can not legally treat creationism and evolution as equals.

"The whole curriculum is designed to undercut evolution and point students in the direction of creationism," Smith says.
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